UNHCR’s ‘Every Second Counts’ Ramadan campaign assists 58,000 refugees and internally displaced for one year

UNHCR’s global Ramadan campaign has reached its target with enough funds to assist more than 58,000 refugees and internally displaced people in 13 countries with lifesaving support for an entire year.

More than 17,500 donors from the MENA region supported the campaign. Nearly 70 percent of donations were made as Zakat and Sadaqah donations through the Refugee Zakat Fund online platform and the newly launched – first UN Zakat mobile app – GiveZakat.

The funds will be used to provide refugees and internally displaced people, including women, children and the elderly across Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nigeria, part of the Sahel region, and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, with safe shelter, food, clean water, medicine and other basic amenities.

“As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable families and individuals are even more in need of our help”, said Houssam Chahine, Chief of Private Sector Partnerships for MENA at UNHCR. “As such we look at the private sector to step up its role of social responsibility in addressing the current and growing challenges and humanitarian needs,” he added.

“We are extremely grateful for the generous donations made by individuals and our philanthropic partners, mainly from the region and in the GCC countries, which enabled us to support 11,600 refugees and internally displaced families in need, which is almost 58,000 individuals. It is also heartening to see the positive reception of our global campaign ‘Every Second Counts’, and people’s trust in our programmes and platforms such as the Refugee Zakat Fund and more recently, the GiveZakat app”, added Chahine.

‘Every Second Counts’ global Ramadan campaign highlighted the impact which individuals can create within seconds in the lives of refugees and displaced families, who have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety. The campaign kicked off with the support of media partners, celebrities and influencers in the Arab world who mobilized their audiences to take action and make every second count for refugees around the world.

Last year’s campaign, reached around 8,141 individuals with lifesaving support for an entire year, marking a vast increase which is reflective of the campaign’s reach and impact on people around the world.

With the growth of UNHCR’S Refugee Zakat Fund, the GiveZakat application provides the tools to calculate annual Zakat and contribute directly to those most in need, with a feature allowing donors to track their contribution until it reaches its intended beneficiaries. 100 percent of Zakat funds donated through the Refugee Zakat Fund go directly to the most vulnerable refugees and internally displaced persons, including those in hard-to-reach areas.

Individuals who are interested to calculate their annual Zakat or for more information on the work UNCHR is doing on-ground, they can visit https://giving.unhcr.org/ or download the GiveZakat app.


Iraq, Amouna 7,  is carrying some coriander leaves she borrowed from the neighbours, she and her brother are standing outside their home in Bardiya village, 80 km northwest of Mosul. She says she likes Ramadan, because neighbours share food with one another, and she gets to stay up late. © UNHCR/Firas Al-Khateeb

Yemen, Rafif and her siblings share their Eid clothes & shoes cheerfully.Displaced from Taizz with no time to pack, UNHCR cash assistance helped her parents to buy food for the holy month Ramadan, pay rent and an Eid treat for their 3 children. © UNHCR/Deem

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